Kuzma Stabi Reference vs Avid Acutus


I have a Kuzma Stabi Reference with 4 Point arm and Dynavector XV-1S cartridge. I like this combination a lot. I have been through a few high end turntables before ending up with this set up, including the full spec Linn LP12/Ekos SE/Radikal/Keel, the AMG Viella and the Rega RP10. The Kuzma is to my ears a clear step up on all of these turntables and sounds extremely good.

But I've had the turntable for a few years and that is a long time for any component in my system. I tend to lose interest in components after 2-3 years - and often a lot sooner - and start looking for something else. I have found myself listening to more digital than vinyl for some time (I have the excellent Lumin X1 streamer). I have therefore been giving some thought to trying a different turntable, and perhaps something with a bit more character than the very neutral Kuzma. I am willing to trade off some accuracy for a "musical" sound - one which is fast, dynamic and tonally rich - and can tolerate some coloration or inaccuracy. 

The Avid turntables seem to be very highly regarded, and I am thinking of the Acutus or even the lower priced Sequel SP (I have read that some prefer the latter). I would probably keep the 4 Point arm. 

I doubt that the Avid turntables would be a real upgrade on the Kuzma in absolute terms. But would it be a significant enough change of direction, and would it be the right direction?

Getting a demo against my Kuzma is going to be difficult, so I would be interested to hear from anyone who has heard both the Kuzma and Avid turntables and can comment on how they differ. 
rossb
rossb, I am a big Kuzma fan but in this case I do think the Avid Acutus is a step up because it is fully isolated. I absolutely agree with keeping the 4 point and don't forget to get the dust cover!

Mike
In my opinion, and while I do like and admire the design of the Avid turntables, the Acutus would at best be a sideways step away from your Kuzma, which is also a great turntable.  I think you'd have to spend significantly more money to experience an epiphany compared to what you experience with the Kuzma.  But if you just want change for the sake of change, sure.
Examples, in my opinion, of significant upgrades:  Doehmann Helix turntable with built in Minus K suspension (IHelix I or Helix 2) or the big Kronos turntable with counter-rotating platters.  Both cost over $25,000.  Probably one of the lesser Air Force turntables (meaning under $50K) might also qualify.
Thanks for the responses. 

Mike, have you heard the Acutus and can you comment on how its presentation differs from the Kuzma?

lewm, I'm sure you are right that I would have to spend significantly more to get a genuine upgrade on the Kuzma, rather than just a different flavour. The three you mention are way out of budget - the Acutus would be the upper limit financially. But I don't necessarily need "better" - the Kuzma is certainly good enough - but would like to try something with a bit more character and a bit less accuracy. 
If you want something of a different flavor why go with another standard belt drive? 
Former Ref2/4Point owner here. 
Good point, vortrex. I was considering a PTP Solid 9 at one point. What are you currently using?
I have a TechDAS AF5 now. I was going to suggest the PTP. I had a decked out Audio Grail 301 with Woodsong plinth and Reed arm before the Kuzma setup. That was definitely a different flavor.

No DD's?
If you're not anti VPI,  I would try and get a listen to the HW40. 
Why not a change in cart? So many to choose from.

I've had a listen to the Actus, very nice. Too many cool tables in the $15-20K range. I always wondered though at this level, isn't the choice in cart and phonostage what makes the "wow" factor?

  


Thanks for the suggestion, but I suspect a VPI turntable would be too similar to what I have. 

I have also been through a lot of cartridges over the last few years - Lyra Delos and Etna SL, Phasemation PP1000, VDH Black Beauty, Grasshopper and Colibri, Benz Ruby and LPS and one or two others. The DV XV-1S is my favourite so far, and I have sold the others (although I regret selling the Black Beauty, which I also loved). 
Ross, when you get up to turntables this good there are only going to be minor sonic differences given the same tonearm and cartridge, even moving up to one of the AF tables. Now because the Avid is really suspended (the ref is not) it will be better isolated from everything else going on in the room, foot falls, vibration etc. Only vibration below 4.5 Hz is going to get through. This will certainly improve the experience. I only use fully suspended turntables. I personally prefer the SOTA Cosmos because it has vacuum hold down, a magnetic bearing, a DC motor a very nice integrated and hinged dust cover and a great suspension. Get it in an exotic wood like Ebony and it is not so plain Jane looking. 
Lewm, I hate to be vivid (right) but the Kronos turntable is a bad joke. The very last thing you want in a turntable is more moving parts because it can only equal more noise and more expense. It is filigree for filigree's sake. It is unfortunate that many of us care more about what a turntable looks like than what it sounds like. Then we make the mistake of thinking a good looking turntable sounds better because it looks good. Rubbish. The AF Zero may cost $450K but at least it comes by it honestly. 
The Ref2 is a suspended table.

Rossb, did you really say you want “less accuracy”? In my mind that goal wouldn’t motivate me to choose the Acutus, which I think of as highly accurate, if we’re talking about speed constancy and lack of resonance. SOTA Cosmos maybe.
Brinkmann Balance and Bergmann Galder ought to be worth a look.  Nottingham Analogue Dais too, unless it's too cheap.....
Love my Kuzma most of the tables the OP is looking at will be either a side move or downgrade IMHO.
vortrex, I stand corrected. It is indeed a suspended turntable. I had thought it was designed like the M but it does have a 2.5 Hz resonance frequency. In that case the difference between it and the Avid come down to looks only. 
You said more musical ever consider going vintage? A nicely restored Garrard 301 or Thorens TD-124 would certainly give you a different flavor and skew in the direction of musical.
I spent some time listening to the Kuzma last night and it really is a fantastic turntable. I'm starting to agree with the comments that it would be virtually impossible to improve on it without spending ridiculous amounts of money, and the turntables I have been considering are almost certainly not upgrades.

On further thought, I will keep the Kuzma and possibly add another - cheaper! - turntable/arm with a totally different character, such as a PTP Solid with maybe an Audiomods arm and a good MM cartridge.
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.